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Western New York Fishing Report – September 21st, 2012

Lake Ontario and tributaries

Salmon are starting to stage off the creek mouths and the Niagara River for anyone looking to target these fish. First thing in the morning, try fishing inside of 60 feet. Slide out as the day progresses with cut bait, flasher-fly combos, J plugs and magnum spoons. You can also head out deep for a mixed bag of salmon and trout on spoons or flasher-fly rigs.

Lake Erie and tributaries

The best action of late has been for perch off Sturgeon Point and Cattaraugus Creek in 55 to 70 feet of water with shiners or worms. The best walleye action has been off Barcelona, 65 to 75 feet down over 80 to 120 feet of water with worm harnesses in chartreuse or black and purple. Best bass action has been in 25 to 45 feet of water around structure like Seneca Shoal, Myers Reef, Evans Bar or down around Dunkirk at Van Buren Bay.

Upper Niagara River

Some decent walleye and bass action is being reported at the head of the river. Good bass have also been turning up around Strawberry and Motor islands, as well as in the west river. Muskie action has been good for 8- to 10-inch tube users in Thompson’s Hole and around the Huntley Station. Some trollers have been doing well in the west river.

Lower Niagara River

The Niagara River is starting to see a few salmon being caught at Devil’s Hole and the Whirlpool, with the best obviously yet to come. Casting jigs, spoons, spinners or rattlebaits are all good methods to target salmon. In the river, bass and walleye are still an option, but sometimes those fish shut down when the salmon start to move into the river system. Be sure to mark Sept. 22-23 on your calendar for the annual Wildlife Festival at the Power Vista in Lewiston from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Start your day by fishing in the kids contest in any public waters in Niagara County. First, second and third place prize are up for grabs in three different age groups – 13 to 15; 8 to 12; and seven and under. There’s also a prize for the big fish off the fish platform and out of the reservoir. Weigh in is from noon to 2 p.m. each day.

Chautauqua Lake

Yellow perch have been snapping all around the lake, especially around the narrows at the Stow side. Look at the weed edges starting in about 10 feet of water. Bass have also been around the weed edges. In the recent Major League Fishing event held last week, good success was being reported around Mayville on the flats. Decent muskie fishing is also being reported in 10-15 feet of water outside the weeds with jerkbaits or stick baits. Deep diving crankbaits are working in deeper waters out to 30 feet from the Prendergast Launch to Chautauqua Institution. Perch or fire tiger color patterns work best.

Orleans County

With the cooler weather and some rain earlier this month, fishing on the inland waters has really picked up. Northern pike seem to be all over the area waterways, especially just above and below the dam at Lyndonville. Smallmouth bass fishing is exceptional on the stretch of the upper Oak between Lake Alice and Glenwood Lake. Bluegill and crappie fishing has again picked up on Lake Alice by both the Kenyonville and Waterport bridges. Perch are starting to show up on the Oak at The Point. Also at the Point, chinook salmon are starting to be taken from the piers, but not in great numbers yet. Some chinooks have been spotted at the dam on Oak Orchard River. With the lack of rainfall over the summer, water levels in all of the tributaries within Orleans County are not as low as one might have expected. On Lake Ontario, it has been and continues to be a great season. There are mature chinook salmon staging very close to the Oak just waiting for the perfect temperature to make their run. Mixed in with them are some very big brown trout on that inside water. Of course, there are still great numbers of steelhead/rainbow trout along with coho and chinook salmon in the off-shore waters that will provide you with an alternative to the near-shore fishery.

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